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Johanne Torres[May 26, 2005]

Special Report: VoIP Strategy Positions Microsoft to Compete in Telecom Market


Microsoft's release this week of Microsoft Speech Server (MSS) 2004 R2 represents the latest step in an ongoing campaign to evolve the company beyond its position as the dominant IT software vendor, into the realm traditionally reserved for telecommunications vendors, so says a new study conducted by IT analyst firm Info-Tech Research Group.

"Microsoft is tying together all of its multimedia-capable messaging assets into a cohesive strategy to penetrate and dominate the burgeoning VoIP market," says Info-Tech Research Group senior research analyst, Carmi Levy. "Microsoft clearly understands the need to establish itself at strategic points in the VoIP market in order to succeed on a worthwhile scale."

According to the report, the software giant released a string of new and upgraded products in recent months that are bolstering its presence in both the carrier and enterprise markets. These include the enterprise-class real-time collaboration server Live Communications Server (LCS) 2005, the integrated VoIP and IM client Office Communicator 2005, and its SharePoint Portal Server 2003.

The study revealed that Microsoft has recognized what it is not capable of doing itself. According to the firm, this is why the company has partnered with hundreds of vendors, including IP-PBX vendors like Alcatel and Siemens, to facilitate future delivery of fully-integrated VoIP solutions. MSS is one example of this partnering strategy, Info-Tech says.

"Microsoft sees VoIP as part of an all-encompassing messaging strategy," says Levy. "Building on its dominance of text-based messaging with its Exchange platform, it now aims to leverage that dominance into VoIP.

"It may seem odd at first glance to have a software vendor pushing to become a top provider of digital telephony service," Levy points out. "But it's difficult to imagine any other company with the resources and connections to actually pull it off. It looks like the traditional telcos have a new and formidable competitor," concluded Levy.

Info-Tech Research Group

Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]


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